An investigation into how the press can influence the political and public agendas

Bhatia, Ayesha (2016) An investigation into how the press can influence the political and public agendas. BA dissertation, University of Portsmouth.

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    The agenda-setting hypothesis asserts that the press can have an effect on public opinion and election outcomes by choosing certain issues for emphasis, thus making those issues more salient to their readers. In addition to informing the public, press coverage of politics has consistently been shown to have a wide range of more subtle influences on what or how citizens think about political issues, subsequently influencing the public agenda.
    Therefore, this investigation will argue that despite the decline in readership, the press still have the power to influence and shape both the political and public agendas. This will be achieved through analysing press-politician relationships and the press reporting of the 2015 General Election campaign. In addition to this, literature produced by agenda-setting theorists, such as Maxwell McCombs and Donald Shaw, alongside quantitative opinion poll data will be examined to get a better understanding of media effects on public opinion.
    It will also explore the dangers of concentrated press ownership which can distort democracy by restricting public debate to those agendas favoured by press proprietors and senior politicians, which leads to discussion about the effectiveness of the press in its role as the ‘Fourth Estate’. Thus this dissertation establishes a process where issues given prominence and salience in the press, shape the debate for the public agenda which ultimately influences the political agenda and policy response.

    Item Type: Dissertation
    Departments/Research Groups: Faculty of Humanities and Social Sciences > School of Social, Historical and Literary Studies
    Depositing User: Beth Atkins
    Date Deposited: 31 Aug 2016 12:17
    Last Modified: 31 Aug 2016 12:17

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